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Old 02-02-2015, 09:48 PM   #1
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Semi tractors to pull a 5th wheel

On occasion i've seen these, I'm wondering why someone would go for this apparent overkill.

Obviously, a 5th wheel would be an almost negligent load using such a tractor, but, it's not a very handy vehicle to run around town in.

I'm sounding a bit negative...tell me the positives of using such a truck for this purpose.
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Old 02-02-2015, 10:00 PM   #2
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I have no answer to your question, but I recently learned that these trucks are too stiff-riding. On all but the heaviest of fifth wheels, I've heard of them severely damaging the frame around the pin box.
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Old 02-02-2015, 10:13 PM   #3
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Semi tractors to pull a 5th wheel

Top 10 Reasons to Choose an RV Hauler HDT (Heavy Duty Truck) over a Pickup Truck, Medium Duty Truck (MDT) or a Sport Truck
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Safety – superior braking and control.
Finally! – You can pull the largest trailers, and take all your toys.
Easy to Drive – automatic transmissions with no clutch.
Power for passing and climbing the toughest mountain passes.
Quiet, comfortable interiors designed for the longest trips. End your holiday with a relaxing drive home.
All our RV Hauler units are inspected and upgraded top to bottom
Operate with a standard driver’s licence plus airbrake certificate in most provinces or states
Fuel Economy: 10+ MPG (imperial) while towing the largest 5th wheel trailers or horse trailers
Seats up to 5 passengers comfortably
Smaller turning radius than a one ton pickup truck

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Old 02-02-2015, 11:39 PM   #4
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"Operate with a standard driver’s licence plus airbrake certificate in most provinces or states"

Most provinces in Canada require a Class A licence when towing anything over 10,000 pounds (4500 kg). That being said, in Ontario there is an exemption for RV drivers BUT it still requires a licence change to a restricted Class A. I'm not sure about the test requirements or qualifications but a blanket statement of a standard driver's licence can be misleading.
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Old 02-03-2015, 06:49 AM   #5
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in addition to the above reasons, a used, well maintained HDT is much cheaper to buy than a 1 ton dually (depending on how far you go with after purchase modifications).

"but, it's not a very handy vehicle to run around town in."
says who? my HDT is easier to drive around town than a 1 ton dually and has a tighter turning radius. the mileage may be a negative if you're sitting in one spot & doing a lot of running around in the truck (but that's true of a 1 ton dually as well). That's why you see a lot of HDT's modified to carry a smart car on the rear deck.

"but I recently learned that these trucks are too stiff-riding. On all but the heaviest of fifth wheels, I've heard of them severely damaging the frame around the pin box."
an HDT has air suspension, air cab and air seats, its the most comfortable ride you'll find in any truck. Any frame damage or pin box damage would be related to using the commercial 5th wheel hitch on the truck, which are not designed for RV use (no lateral flex). Most HDT owners in RV use swap out the trucks commercial hitch for an air ride RV hitch that's easier on the frame than your typical pickup 5th hitch.

If you're pulling a heavy 5th wheel where the choice is a 1 ton dually or HDT, the HDT is a great option.

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Old 02-03-2015, 08:42 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobguigley View Post
On occasion i've seen these, I'm wondering why someone would go for this apparent overkill.

Obviously, a 5th wheel would be an almost negligent load using such a tractor, but, it's not a very handy vehicle to run around town in.

I'm sounding a bit negative...tell me the positives of using such a truck for this purpose.
Quiet common. Why dont you go to other RV web sites under HDT and ask those that do have them?
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Old 02-03-2015, 12:18 PM   #7
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But if overkill is cheaper?




is it really overkill
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Old 02-03-2015, 12:20 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ret Syntst View Post
"Operate with a standard driver’s licence plus airbrake certificate in most provinces or states"

Most provinces in Canada require a Class A licence when towing anything over 10,000 pounds (4500 kg). That being said, in Ontario there is an exemption for RV drivers BUT it still requires a licence change to a restricted Class A. I'm not sure about the test requirements or qualifications but a blanket statement of a standard driver's licence can be misleading.
That has nothing to do with the truck "towing anything over 4500kg"

my last trailer was just under that weight ,so all I has was a Z endorsement (air brake)
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Old 02-04-2015, 07:19 AM   #9
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Most of these people towing with a semi-tractor are ex truck drivers.
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Old 02-04-2015, 08:07 AM   #10
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Some are ex truck drivers. But I see many many many threads where the question is basically "Can my vehicle tow this trailer?" and the folks who tow with Peterbuilts.. Well they have NEVER started such a thread, They have absolutly NO reason to ask that quesiton.

TRAIL-HAULER.COM if the site is up and running.

Me, the house IS the tow vehicle, the trailer is a Dodge Neon, I do it the other way around.
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Old 02-04-2015, 09:23 AM   #11
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Most of these people towing with a semi-tractor are ex truck drivers.
I have met a lot of them at escapees rallies and very few are x truckers ,the few that are have let the commercial licence lapse,These trucks all motorhomes now
These trucks are all motorhomes now.
Pay attention
These trucks are all motorhomes now.
Mine has passenger plates,it gets remarked on by border officers and LEO 's
They get it.
If you own a motorhome with air brakes these conversions are the same only shorter
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Old 02-04-2015, 10:56 AM   #12
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Really? I'm a retired custom yacht builder, and my wife a retired nurse.
I bought the Volvo because it was 1/3 the price of a new dually that would be worn out in 5-6 years of towing full time.
Better towing fuel economy
Better stopping
We can pull off the highway and not get out to eat, sleep, watch TV, etc.
Turns inside a dually
Has plenty of room for the mutt
Better view,
We stop when we need, not when the truck needs fuel,
Cheaper insurance than a new dually,
Parks in any spot that a crew cab long bed dually parks,
Has a 2 stage jake brake that interacts with the cruise control for less than flat land driving
Our truck has air ride suspension, and air ride cab, and air ride seats. No bumps, or hard jolts felt.
Our hitch is a Trail Saver 32k air hitch, which is needed for heavy pin weights anyway, our pin weight is 4800lbs
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Old 02-04-2015, 02:11 PM   #13
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Most of these people towing with a semi-tractor are ex truck drivers.
hmmm, I'm a retired Engineer/Lawyer/Business Owner and of the 100 other HDT RV owners I've met over the last several years, only 2 were ex truckers. In SD, my domicile state, my HDT is registered as a private non-commercial truck which takes the same drivers license as a pickup.
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Old 02-04-2015, 03:23 PM   #14
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We got our 5th wheel before getting a truck to pull it! ... We have been full time'n it for about 12 years now in a 40ft DP yank'n a heavy FROG! I've had a 4X4 pick-up (3 of which were DRW) since I've had a license! ...Ya know how when you finally get something and all of a sudden see how many others are out there??.... Well that's how it was with the 5th wheel!... And other BIG 5th wheels! I was Sooo close to getting a new RAM 3500 dually to start this 5th wheel adventure that I finally listened to my inner Know It All!!....You need a bigger truck!! ... Based on previous experience, watching these huge 5th wheels go by dwarfing the dually pick-up that pull them, and just me own common sense!

I went MDT!



Had I had more time and did a might better job researching!... I could have easily went HDT!

Being in the right place at the right time! and in need!... I very happy with 330hp, allison auto, 100 gallons of fuel in a heavy truck with air brakes!... Would have luv'd a crew cab, but this will do!

I'd much rather Overkill it! ...Than Under!!
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